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Wave overwhelm Rampage for eighth win in nine games

02/13/2017, 5:15pm CST
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Ian Bennett recorded his seventh hat trick of the season and veteran Marcio Leite scored in his season debut as the Milwaukee Wave continued their strong second-half surge with an 8-2 victory over the Cedar Rapids Rampage in front of a crowd of 4,165 on Sunday afternoon at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.

Goalkeeper Josh Lemos made 15 saves, and 10 of the Wave's 13 field players ended up on the scoresheet with at least one goal or assist in the balanced attack that powered Milwaukee (12-6) to its eighth win in nine games.

The Wave are 1 1/2 games behind the Kansas City Comets (13-4) and a half-game ahead of the Rampage (11-6) in the Major Arena Soccer League's Central Division with two matches left in their regular-season schedule, both at home: against the Comets at 7:35 p.m. Saturday and against the Chicago Mustangs on March 5. The top two teams in each of the MASL's four divisions qualify for the eight-team playoffs.

Bennett opened the scoring 2 minutes, 6 seconds into the game, and the home side led 5-0 after Leite's power-play goal 6:25 into the second half. Cedar Rapids pulled back within three at 5-2, but Bennett answered with two goals in a 1:21 span late in the fourth quarter – both assisted by defender Tenzin Rampa (Madison West/UW-Milwaukee) – to seal the Wave's seventh win in eight home matches this season.

Bennett continues to lead the MASL with 49 goals, two ahead of Baja Atletico's Christian Gutierrez, and now has 211 goals in his 168 career regular-season games with Milwaukee, an average of 1.26 per game. The Wave's Max Ferdinand was held without an assist for the second straight match, but still leads the league with 28, nine ahead of the Comets' duo of John Sosa and Leo Gibson.

  • The Wave could be without three regulars for the match against the Comets, as defender Daniel Chamale, forward Robert Renaud and Bennett are all part of the Canadian team for the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship, which starts Friday in Nassau, Bahamas. Canada will face Barbados on Feb. 20, Mexico on Feb. 21 and Guadeloupe on Feb. 23 in Group B play. The two teams from each of the four groups advance to the quarterfinals, and the two finalists most likely will earn spots in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, which is April 27 to May 7 also in Nassau – Bahamas already has a berth as the host nation and Guadeloupe is not eligible as it is not a FIFA member; if one of them advances to the final, then the next-highest eligible team will claim a spot. Bennett, Chamale and Renaud have each played in all 18 games for the Wave this season, and all three have caps for the Canadian futsal national team; beach soccer coach Kyt Selaidopoulos – a former Wave player – also is the country's futsal coach. Canada's only appearance in the Beach Soccer World Cup was in 2006. On Twitter: @IanBennett26 @rrenaud12

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